The Government Accountability Office has confirmed that the required air-tour management plans which are part of the National Parks Air Tour Management Act have not been completed and the act has had little effect on noise in the parks.
Federal Aviation Administration
Despite some 20,000 negative comments and calls to abolish the Washington, D.C., air defense identification zone (ADIZ), a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill resulted in little progress in making flying in or near the large block of airspace less onerous for general aviation pilots.
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) Institute has named Stephen Fisher its executive director. A former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, he will oversee daily operations at the institute.
The NGATS Institute is an industry partnership supporting the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) in developing and implementing NGATS, a technologically advanced ATC system for the future.
At the Farnborough Air Show this summer, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and European Commission (EC) vice president Jacques Barrot signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation toward developing compatible, “seamless” air traffic management systems. The agreement formalizes previously informal exchanges between U.S.
The FAA announced in August that it expects to award its ADS-B ground station contract (estimated to be for up to 500 ground stations) next July. The agency will use a “performance-based” contracting approach for the project, which will reportedly cost around $2 billion over its lifetime.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) called the FAA’s imposition of new work rules over the Labor Day weekend “a brazen, arrogant trampling of the collective bargaining system” and a threat to the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System.
The FAA has finished deploying at all 20 en route centers a new communications gateway that processes radar and flight data and eliminates problems that bedeviled the previous system. Called en route communications gateway (ECG), it eliminates the possibility of a system-wide outage by removing the single point of failure that existed in what the FAA called the peripheral adapter module replacement item (PAMRI).
Christian Klein, legislative counsel for the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), recently testified before the aviation subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Klein reassured the subcommittee that contract maintenance is not a new phenomenon.
“Contract maintenance has played an important role in the aviation industry for decades,” Klein said.
With nearly 20,000 comments received on the proposal to make the Washington, D.C., air defense identification zone (ADIZ) permanent, the FAA will hold two public meetings this month to give pilots, airport managers and others a chance to present their views on the proposal.
The Senate at press time was considering a bill that imposes a $250,000 fine and a possible prison term of up to five years for people who point lasers at aircraft. The legislation is an outgrowth of a number of recent incidents. Laser beams can temporarily blind pilots and, in some reported cases, cause permanent eye damage. The bill passed in the House last month.